Unfortunately, the threats businesses face today do not only include stiff competition and poor sales. Instead, many of the biggest threats to companies originate from online. Hackers can do millions of dollars of damage to a company by hacking into its servers and stealing data. You need to know what to do to protect your company and your assets from the reach of hackers and other digital threats. Here are some strategies you can use to safeguard your data.
1. Have Your Company Hacked by Cyber Security Professionals
While being hacked is something you certainly want to avoid, having your website hacked by a trusted party can actually be very beneficial. Ex-hackers that work with companies and the government as cyber security professionals to discover and patch security flaws are known as “white hat hackers.” You may benefit greatly from a “penetration test” performed by a white hat hacker to see how easy it is to hack into your network and reach your data. However, only go through a professional business that has stellar references and has been approved by a regulatory agency. Not doing so can obviously have huge risks.
2. Limit the People that Have Access to Your Databases
Not every success at accessing data is the result of highly technical hacking techniques. Sometimes it’s as simple as an employee selling his company log-in to a third party for a profit. This is a very common form of corporate espionage as well as strategy for criminals that wish to do things like gain access to credit card information. Overall, access to sensitive databases should absolutely be limited to as few people as possible at higher levels in the organization. Those lower in the organization should not have that kind of security clearance. They should only be able to access the data they need to do their jobs and nothing else.
3. Purge Certain Kinds of Old Data
While it won’t eliminate the possibility of hacking, purging certain kinds of data after a certain point in time can help to limit your liability. This is especially the case for credit card information. If credit card numbers sit in a database for years after their last use, you are not being provided with any added benefit by continuing to store that information. However, you do increase the amount of risk for your company with the possibility of that data being stolen. It might be a good idea to eliminate credit card information after a long period of time. If those customers return, they can simply re-enter their credit card info to make new purchases.
4. Use Encryption
One very successful strategy for protecting data is to keep it encrypted especially if you have a hosted exchange. Encryption is a method for making data inaccessible through encoding of the data via specific algorithms. Without an encryption key that can unlock the data, it will not be able to be accessed. All sensitive data should remain encrypted while not in use. Only specific individuals within your company should have access to the encryption keys.
Guarding against hackers and other malicious digital attacks is absolutely paramount. You need to do so to protect your customers, shield your company from lawsuits and preserve your competitive advantages. Make sure your company’s sensitive data remains secure.